Music is like chocolate for the ears. It’s just so satisfying! It’s an integral part of our day at Hogarth. From our Hello Song to our Goodbye Song and everything in between, music helps moves us through the day. Sometimes literally!
(NOTE: Because so many of my students have babies at home, we started learning the song Baby Face in all three classes last week. It was written in 1926 but is just as much fun to sing today as I’m sure it was then. We don’t sing the version in the video. Ours goes more like this. If your little one is nearby why don’t you ask him or her over for a listen? I bet s/he’s going to love it.)
Studies have shown that listening to music benefits language learning, improves memory and focuses attention. Research reveals that playing an instrument can actually help you to learn better by increasing executive function. Your level of executive function plays a key role in your ability to learn. It enables you to make sound choices, plan effectively, and be flexible when the need arises. It also allows you to quickly and efficiently process information. All that from actively engaging with music!
Presenting new concepts through a song is an especially effective way to pass along knowledge. Folks of a certain age will most certainly remember every word to Swingin’ the Alphabet by those highbrow actors The Three Stooges. I actually set up a lesson around this song in EK recently.
I’ve written many “teaching” songs for my young students. We work on letter recognition, alphabetical order, and classification (reptile, fish, bird, mammal, etc.) through The Animal Alphabet. The focus is on color concepts in my songs Green and Colors. I teach good hygiene through The Wash-Up Song and Germ Jail. My students learn about changing seasons and the world around them when they learn my songs Autumn Bear, March in Old New Hampshire, and May. My song Mary Chilton presents a historically accurate view of Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. In fact, just yesterday one of my EK kids told me he’s going to Mary Chilton’s Plymouth next week during vacation. We haven’t talked about Plymouth or Mary Chilton for months, but the lesson obviously stuck with him.
Want to get as many benefits from music for your child as you can? Have your little one learn to play an instrument. What’s the Right Age to Begin Music Lessons? by Dr. Robert A. Cutietta gives a good timeline for stringing a child’s musical bow.
Still not convinced that actively playing music is a worthy pursuit? Take a few minutes to watch this TEDEd video. It might be all the proof you need.